A power pole that snapped and caused one of the St Patrick's Day bushfires looked "like saw dust" in the hours after the blaze tore through the south-west, a court has heard.
Elizabeth Kenna, whose property is at The Sisters near Terang, gave evidence during a committal hearing at the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Electricity giant Powercor has been charged with six offences laid after the St Patrick's Day bushfires in March 2018.
The charges related to two incidents, one involving a power pole that snapped on a property at The Sisters, sparking a fire known as the Garvoc blaze, which wiped out at least two houses, 4000 hectares and stock.
Mrs Kenna said she observed the power at her home "flickering" in the moments before the fire started.
She said she could see dust and "squally" winds before flames were observed below a power pole located on her property.
Ms Kenna said "things were totally out of control" and it was too dangerous to approach the power pole but that she attended at daylight with her husband and neighbour.
"(The pole) was just like sawdust," she said.
"It was disintegrating."
The second charge related to clashing conductors at Terang that sparked what was known as the Terang/Cobden fire on St Patrick's Day, destroying more than 20 houses.
Terang hobby farmer Lauren Benallack told the court of the moment she saw a firework-like explosion at the town's substation before it went up in flames.
She said she was at home in Terang having dinner with her father at 8pm on March 17, 2018.
She said there were about three paddocks between her property and the Terang power station, which was in clear view from her dining area.
Ms Benallack said she saw a single flash emanate from the substation.
"It was like a light globe exploding, like a firework," she said.
She said the fire started straight away, spreading quickly due to strong winds.
Ms Benallack said she was "a bit panicky" and immediately rang 000 before alerting her neighbours and then driving her children to safety.
When she returned, the fire had travelled right up to her back fence line, about 20 metres from her home.
She said hoses and buckets were used before firefighters arrived and the fire was put out.
The court heard Ms Benallack lost fencing and chickens.
Magistrate Kieran Gilligan and legal representatives on Tuesday attended the site where the two clashing conductors sparked the Terang/Cobden fire.
Energy Safe Victoria work practice advisor Robert Oldfield told the court there was evidence of "shine damage", which occured when two conductors make contact with each other, causing them to short circuit, melt or get "very, very hot".
He said a video recorded in 2018 by a Powercor asset performance officer showed the conductor's range of movement, which he said was "indicative of what could be expected as a conductor clash occurring".
He said that indication was "significant enough to provide reasonable doubt from my perspective that that was most likely the cause".
The court heard that corrective and safety works had been undertaken at the site since the 2018 bushfire.
The hearing before Magistrate Kieran Gilligan continues today.
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